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The town of Bonifacio is situated in the far south of Corsica and offers birders a good range of Mediterranean species including seabirds. There are limestone cliffs, a maquis-covered plateau and small, densely-vegetated valleys.
Common Swift, Pallid Swift and Alpine Swift nest on the cliffs and Shag and Cory's Shearwater and Yelkouan Shearwater can be seen offshore.
Birds of the plateau include Rock Sparrow and Blue Rock Thrush and typical Mediterranean scrub warblers such as Sardinian Warbler, Dartford Warbler and Marmora's Warbler can be found. Corsican Finch, an endemic species recently separated from the more widespread Citril Finch, is also present here.
The town has Spotless Starling and Italian Sparrow, formerly considered a race of House Sparrow or a hybrid population but now treated as a subspecies of Spanish Sparrow. Eleonora's Falcon occurs on passage through this area and Alpine Accentor occurs in winter.
Birds you can see here include:
Cory's Shearwater, Yelkouan Shearwater, Northern Gannet, Mediterranean Shag, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Red Kite, Montagu's Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Eleonora's Falcon, Yellow-legged Gull, Audouin's Gull, Common Woodpigeon, Rock Pigeon, European Turtle Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Swift, Pallid Swift, Alpine Swift, Wood Lark, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Alpine Accentor, Common Nightingale, Blue Rock Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Marmora's Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Great Tit, Spotless Starling, Red-backed Shrike, Italian Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, European Serin, Corsican Finch, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Siskin, Eurasian Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting
The plateau is home to numerous orchids and in particular the spectacular Sawfly Orchid Ophrys tenthredenifera. Dolphins can be seen out at sea, sometimes very close to the shore.
History and Use
Bonifacio has a long and colourful history. These days tourism is the most important economic factor here and especially during the summer months (June, July, August) the town and its sourroundings are flooded with tourists from all over Europe. The intersting maquis around the town is only partially used for agriculture, but the path along the cliffs is very popular among visitors.
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Bonifacio has hotel accommodation and there are campsites in the area. The hotels in the town itself are quite expensive, even for Corsica. Accomodation outside the town is much cheaper. On various campsites bungalows can be rented, in summer only per week, in spring also on daily basis.
There are busses from Ajaccio and Bastia to Bonifacio, but they run only once or twice a day. A car is essential for some areas.
Bonifacio has also a ferry connection to Santa Teresa di Gallura in Sardinia.
France for Visitors, Bonifacio Information about the nature reserve Bouches de Bonifacio Content and images originally posted by Steve